Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Maine have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Maine.

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If you've never taken your family on a ferry ride from Portland to Peaks Island, on a snowboarding trip to Auburn's Lost Valley, or had a lobstah' feast in Bar Harbor, then you've not witnessed what the good people of Maine already know; they have some of the most family friendly fun in America.

And if that family friendly fun is something you want for your family full time, then HomeSnacks recommends that you take a peek at our top ten best places to raise a family in Maine for 2020. How did we do it? We consulted the US Census on places in The Pine Tree State with more than 5,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 27 family friendly cities.

Our conclusion, Maine has a safe, affordable, family friendly places to live for every type of family on any type of budget. For instance, places like Cumberland are great for families just starting out, places like Freeport are every outdoorsy family's dream, and places like Biddeford are great for families that don't need to worry about a budget. Now don't count yourselves out of the mix, parents. There are plenty of available jobs in Maine: they have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. And with a $58,000/year household median income to work with, there's plenty of cheddar to keep your family happy, healthy, and having fun.

Want to know where your family can live in Maine without breaking the bank? Read on.

In all family friendly seriousness, Maine has some of the best schools in the country. Blue Ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools, and colleges like University of Maine in Orono and the Colby College in Waterville have been delivering the next generation to work at major Maine companies like L.L. Bean and Pioneer Plastics.

So, want to know where you can live in Maine and still have extra cash to enjoy the fun, family things that Maine has to offer? That would be Yarmouth.

To see how your favorite family friendly place in Maine compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Maine and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine For 2020

Yarmouth, ME

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,608
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 26.4%
More on Yarmouth: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.

Gorham, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,711
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 26.6%
More on Gorham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Gorham is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 16,381 at the 2010 census. The 2012 estimate of Gorham's population was 16,667. In addition to its urban village center known as Gorham Village or simply "the Village," the town encompasses a number of smaller, unincorporated villages and hamlets with distinct historical identities, including South Gorham, West Gorham, Little Falls, White Rock, and North Gorham. Gorham is home to one of the three campuses of the University of Southern Maine. In 2013, Gorham was voted second best town in Maine after Hampden by a financial website.

Gardiner, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,667
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 28.2%
More on Gardiner: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Gardiner is a city in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 5,800 at the 2010 census. Popular with tourists, Gardiner is noted for its culture and old architecture. Gardiner is included in the Augusta, Maine micropolitan New England City and Town Area.

Kennebunk, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,809
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 21.9%
More on Kennebunk: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kennebunk is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 10,798 at the 2010 census. Kennebunk is home to several beaches, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, the 1799 Kennebunk Inn, many historic shipbuilders' homes, the Brick Store Museum and the Nature Conservancy Blueberry Barrens, with 1,500 acres of nature trails and blueberry fields.

Bath, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,320
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 27.9%
More on Bath: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 8,514 at the 2010 census, and 8,357 as of 2013, the population has had a change of -10.2% since 2000. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County, which includes one city and 10 towns. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its 19th-century architecture. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend. It is commonly known as "The City of Ships." Bath is part of the metropolitan statistical area of Greater Portland.

Belfast, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,696
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 27.2%
More on Belfast: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Belfast is a city in Waldo County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,668. Located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Penobscot Bay, Belfast is the county seat of Waldo County. The seaport has a wealth of antique architecture in several historic districts, and remains popular with tourists.

Rockland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,190
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 23.7%
More on Rockland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rockland is a city in Knox County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,297. It is the county seat of Knox County. The city is a popular tourist destination. It is a departure point for the Maine State Ferry Service to the islands of Penobscot Bay: Vinalhaven, North Haven and Matinicus.

Topsham, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,103
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 22.7%
More on Topsham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Topsham is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 8,784 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The town is home to the annual Topsham Fair.

South Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,515
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 26.8%
More on South Portland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

South Portland is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, and is the fourth-largest city in the state, incorporated in 1898. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,002. Known for its working waterfront, South Portland is situated on Portland Harbor and overlooks the skyline of Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Due to South Portland's close proximity to air, marine, rail, and highway transportation options, the city has become a center for retail and industry in the region.

Review Of South Portland by HomeSnacks User

I have lived here for over 20 years, the town is still great but the character has changed tremendously-very precious and pricey now. I couldn't afford my own neighborhood if I were buying now. Planning to move out in a few years because of it.

We like the lighthouses and beaches. About a dozen unnecessary coffee shops have opened up, which to me only highlights the tedious hipsterism that permeates the town now.

Orono, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,474
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 11.8%
More on Orono: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

How do you determine which place is best for families in Maine anyways?

To give you the places in Maine which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Pine Tree State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Maine, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 5,000 people. For Maine, that meant a total of 27 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Maine ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Maine according to the data:

  1. Bangor
  2. Augusta
  3. Old Orchard Beach

For more maine reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Maine?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Yarmouth, ME 5,608 57
2 Gorham, ME 6,711 35
3 Gardiner, ME 5,667 37
4 Kennebunk, ME 5,809 43
5 Bath, ME 8,320 59
6 Belfast, ME 6,696 52
7 Rockland, ME 7,190 52
8 Topsham, ME 6,103 58
9 South Portland, ME 25,515 37
10 Orono, ME 9,474 52

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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